Congratulations on your new pair of customized scleral contact lenses! As with most new things, there can be a learning curve to get your scleral contacts to feel and fit just right.
Whether you’ve been prescribed sclerals for keratoconus, dry eye syndrome, corneal abnormalities or other conditions, it can take up to two weeks for you to feel completely comfortable in your new contacts.
Here are some tips to help shorten the adjustment period in your scleral lens journey:
1. Stick to proper hygiene protocol
Even the most perfectly fitted scleral lenses won’t feel right if they aren’t cleaned and cared for properly. Carefully follow the hygiene guidelines prescribed by your optometrist without cutting any corners. Although it may seem tedious at first, your efforts will be well worth the results.
2. Practice makes progress
The only way to make inserting and removing your lenses second nature is to wear them. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a bit more time to insert them than you’d anticipated. Wearing your sclerals daily will give you the opportunity to practice wearing and caring for your lenses.
3. Try out different insertion tools and techniques
At your initial fitting or follow-up consultation, your eye doctor will show you ways to safely and comfortably insert your lenses. Some patients prefer using a large plunger, while others prefer the scleral ring or O-ring. If neither of these recommended techniques are working for you, seek advice from your eye doctor.
4. Overfill the lens
A common problem that many patients encounter when they begin wearing scleral contact lenses is how to get rid of tiny air bubbles that get trapped in the lens’ bowl. Try filling up the lens with the recommended solution until it is almost overflowing. That way, you’ll have enough fluid left in the lens even if some spills out when you bring it up to your eye.
5. Give it time
If your scleral lenses feel slightly uncomfortable upon insertion — don’t worry. It’s recommended to wait 20-30 minutes to allow them to settle on the eye’s surface before attempting to readjust or remove them. Of course, remove them immediately and try again if you feel significant discomfort.
6. Follow up with your optometrist
Even after you leave your optometrist’s office, you aren’t on your own. Be in touch with your eye doctor if something doesn’t feel right or if you have any questions about your scleral contact lenses.
For questions about your scleral lenses or to schedule a scleral lens consultation, call Midwest Eye Associates Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center in St. Charles today!
Midwest Eye Associates Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center serves patients from Creve Coeur, Wentzville, St. Peters, St. Charles, and throughout Missouri.
Q: What are scleral contact lenses?
- A: Scleral contact lenses are rigid gas permeable lenses with a uniquely large diameter. They rest on the sclera (whites of the eyes) instead of the cornea, making them a more comfortable and stable option for people with corneal irregularities or dry eye syndrome. Scleral contacts hold a reservoir of nourishing fluid between the eye’s surface and the inside of the lens, providing the patient with crisp and comfortable vision.
Q: Who is an ideal candidate for wearing sclerals?
- A: Patients with keratoconus, corneal abnormalities, ocular surface disease (dry eye syndrome) and very high refractive errors can all benefit from scleral lenses. Patients with delicate corneas due to disease or after surgery find scleral lenses to be comfortable and therapeutic, as the lenses don’t place any pressure on the sensitive corneal tissue.